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Gita Lesson - 1502: Nature of God

Bhagavad Gita
Unit - 15
Lesson - 1502: Nature of God
By Raja Subramaniyan

Lord Krishna starts describing the God. Since he is a Descending Avatar, he is God himself and therefore, he explains his own real nature to Arjuna. Arjuna knows Lord Krishna as a close friend and cousin. He did not know that Lord Krishna is a Descending Avatar.

Lord Krishna also explains to him about his higher nature, Brahman.

Thus, when Lord Krishna says the word 'I' or 'me', they may refer to one of the following three identities.

1. Lord Krishna as a person
2. Lord Krishna as the God
3. Lord Krishna as Brahman

Depending on the context, the appropriate meaning should be taken. In addition to these three meanings, people give the status of Personal god or Family deity to Lord Krishna. Although Lord Krishna never refers to this meaning, many devotees wrongly assume this meaning for the word 'I' or 'Me' at all occurrences.

The terms God and Brahman are described below:
1. Brahman is formless, nameless and does not have any attributes. It is one without a second. It has no beginning and it exists forever as an ever-witnessing joy.
2. Brahman has a power called Illusion.
3. Since Brahman is beginning less, Illusion also exists forever.
4. Brahman is changeless and Illusion is ever changing.
5. Brahman is independent. Illusion is dependent on Brahman
6. Brahman is attributeless. Illusion has three attributes namely Aura, Energy and Matter.
7. Brahman is real and Illusion is unreal.

Brahman together with Illusion is called God.

Example: A man has a power to sing. While singing he is called singer.

Similarly, while expressing the power of Illusion, Brahman is called God. Therefore, there is only one God. Just as a human body is made up of hands, legs and such body parts, God is made up of various functional gods, with varieties names and forms. Such functional gods are chosen as the Personal god or family deity by the devotees based on their personal preferences.
There are unlimited numbers of such gods. Therefore, everyone can find a god of his/ her choice and for every type of requests a god with appropriate special power can be found.

Descriptions of God as given by God (Lord Krishna) are listed below:

1. Cause of the creation

The entire universe is created by God and therefore he is the cause of the creation. He is both the Intelligent Cause and Material Cause of the Universe.

Example: The potter makes pot from clay.

The potter is the Intelligent Cause, who causes the creation of pots using his intelligence, skill and capability. Then the second cause is the clay, which is called Material Cause.

In case of the creation of the universe, both the causes are God. He is the Intelligent Cause and the Material cause, since he has created this universe out of himself.

Since God exists all the time and this universe is created out of God, the appropriate term for creation is manifestation. God manifests himself in the form of the universe.

Brahman together with Illusion is God. Illusion is composed of Aura, Energy and Matter. Thus, God is nothing but Brahman + the manifested universe. In other words, God has two parts. The higher part is called Brahman, which is the conscious principle, and a lower part called Illusion, which is the inert universe.

The higher part of the God, Brahman is the intelligent cause of the creation.

The lower part of the God, Illusion (Aura, Energy and Matter) is the material cause of the universe.

God is the cause of creation and there is no one who created God. It cannot be said Brahman created God, because Brahman (together with the power of Illusion) is God.

Teaching 83: God is both the intelligent and the material cause of the universe

2. God is Omnipresent

God is ever-present. There was no time when he did not exist and there will be no time when his existence will end.

God is everywhere. There is no place, where he does not exist. Moreover, wherever we look we can perceive only him and nothing else. There is nothing in the universe that is outside God. There is no God outside the creation.

Both time and space are part of his creation and he is beyond both.

3. God is Omnipotent

God is all-powerful and he has laid out the cosmic law, which governs the functioning of the universe. All the laws discovered by science are instituted by God.

4. God is Omni prevalent

God is the motive power, which drives all the living beings in the universe. God exists even within the inert objects. There is nothing in the universe in which God is not present.

5. God is Omniscient

God knows everything. We know what is in our mind. God's mind is cosmic mind and includes all the minds of all the living beings.

6. God is the foundation

God, manifests the universe, sustains it and resolves it periodically just as a singer begins to sing, sustain the song and stop singing.

The variety of living beings and inert objects seen in the universe is sustained by him just as the thread supports the stones and beads in a necklace.

The thread can be compared to the higher nature of God, Brahman

The stones and beads can be compared to the lower nature of God, Illusion.

Illusion is composed of Aura, Energy and Matter. These three elements in various proportions constitute the universe.

Brahman is attributeless.

By adding one attribute called sound, space is created.
By adding one more attribute called touch, air is created.
By adding one more attribute called sight, fire is created.
By adding one more attribute called taste, water is created.
By adding one more attribute called smell, earth is created.

Thus from the subtle Energy (space), gradually the gross matter (earth) is manifested. All the inert objects (including our body/mind complex) are made up of these five basic building blocks, namely, space, air, fire, water and earth.

Mind is also made up of matter but it has the capacity to reflect the sentiency of Brahman. Living beings are differentiated from the inert objects due to the presence of mind within.

Teaching 84: The higher nature of God is Brahman (Intelligent Cause) and the lower nature is Illusion (Material Cause)

Thus, the entire creation comprising of living beings and inert objects are created by God from out of himself.

We can logically validate this revelation by God. If we explore our universe we can see that it consists of Energy, Matter and Aura (intelligence) and nothing else. Therefore, from the output we can deduce that the input (Illusion) is made up of these three elements.

Chapter 7: Knowledge of the Absolute [Verses: 04 - 07]

7.4 Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My material nature.

7.5 Besides this inferior nature, Oh Arjuna, there is a superior nature of Mine, which is in the form of all living entities and thus I sustain the universe.

7.6 Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution.

7.7 Oh Arjuna, there is no other cause that is superior to Me. Every thing rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

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